Tag Archives: canon

A path offered

 

I’ve been a little quiet on this Blog since starting back on my final year doing a BA Creative Practice (Photography).

Over the summer, in fact over the last year a number of changes in my life have resulted in my path taking a slightly different direction than I originally thought. My path over the summer turned to end of life, particularly the practices and rituals around death, dying and bereavement. I’ve also been blessed with meeting some truly wonderful, wonderful people who have signposted this path. Whether it be the balance between heartache and heartwarming or just listening to my ‘bliss’ in each moment.  Suddenly the images I am producing start to make more sense. As a good friend would put it “I am in the flow”.

So let me introduce you a little into my work these last few months and some of the people that have influenced me.

Rocky, I simply must start with Rocky, a true Yorkshire Cowgirl. Rocky lives on her ranch between Barnsley and Holmfirth. When I say ranch, I mean Ranch with a capital R. A wood built log cabin, overlooking hills, moorland and fields, with a nearby Pennine Trail that she rides her four horses along and to a nearby reservoir.

The day I met her, she was on the trail with friend Sue. They climbed off their horses and strode into the cafe where I was sat. I knew immediately I wanted to photograph them. The day of the photographs was terrible weather, but I persevered and they did too, In hindsight it was this patience that led to one of my favourite images, of all the images I have ever taken. Two of these images were produced in the Times along with Rocky’s story as a direct result of that photoshoot.

Then there is Ria, beautiful, beautiful Ria. I came across Ria on a website called Helpful Peeps. She offered to sit for a portrait but I learned much more about her than just these pictures. Ria’s son Gareth died earlier this year. Our conversation turned to grief, plans, not making plans and how life continues despite such heartbreaking tragedy. I asked Ria to recount funny stories of Gareth as we took these images.  At a later shoot we held a memorial with two close friends of Ria’s on Cleethorpes beach. The following week Ria was due to attend an inquest detailing the cause of her son’s death. The sunset was blazen pink that evening in Cleethorpes. A mothers love and deep distress was crystal clear, even through the smiles.

 

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Connecting the Dots

Steve Jobs gave a talk to Stanford University students graduating. In that talk he said that looking back he could now see connections between different events on his life path . At the earlier event he had no idea the particular passions or interests would be useful further down the road, he was just doing what he loved. The example he gave was attending Calligraphy class at college and then using that learning ten years later on building the Mac.He called these events or passions dots.

In response to this, I have drawn out my own path of dots so far. The result is not really what I expected yet it is what I should have expected. Here are all the things I have been passionate about in a rough chronological order.

  • Den building
  • Climbing trees
  • Being outside dawn til dusk – nature
  • Folk song Raggle Taggle Gypsy
  • Stories, poetry, books, reading
  • Campfires
  • Spirituality/healing/alternative medicine
  • Art/creativity/imagination
  • Biographical storytelling
  • Mystical traditions
  • Natural ways of living
  • Empowerment / freedom / change
  • Environmental  issues / recycling / leave no trace
  • Change / Improvement / Communication – telling it as it is
  • Music / festivals
  • Travel, exploring
  • Walking
  • Wild camping
  • Gardening
  • Photography

Seeing these ‘dots’ my Photography starts to make a more sense. I would challenge any one to look at my portfolio and not see these ‘dots’ reflected back. Themes of nature, mysticism, exploration and life stories are everywhere.

Thank you Steve Jobs, for bringing it all together.

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Wharncliffe Side

Rainy Days & Mondays

Growing up my mum used to sing Karen Carpenter around the house. She had other repertoire but Rainy Days and Mondays was regularly on the playlist. Singing was a regular way of her going about her business.

Often my brother, sister and I would join in at some point unaware of this special therapy. Still today I can’t hear many songs from that time without thinking of Mum and her housework karaoke.

My mum had us quite young, but even so there is a generational difference when it comes to vocalising issues that trouble us. My generation and younger appears to be more vocal in our unhappiness. I am sure that is not entirely a bad thing, this blog itself is a form of that vocalisation after all.

Is it possible that talking about what troubles us could well become like the four yorkshire men sketch Monty Python.  I think there is potential for forgetting many wonderful things in our lives focussing too much on the bleak.

A ray of light in dark times will also be to think about the silver linings, counting blessings, as well as offering empathy a friend would ask positive open questions. These things  might help keep the balance. Don’t get me wrong I don’t think it is about denying the bad things happen but having realistic positivity at the same time. Sometimes there really is no room for positivity, and that is ok too.

As I go silently this next few days I will try harder to keep a balance. As Karen Carpenter sings, we’ve been here before and we will be here again!

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Tidal

One Billion Rising – Sheffield

Yesterday I just happened to be in Sheffield and saw a beautiful demonstration/event in Sheffield Peace Gardens called ‘One Billion Rising‘.

Red ribbons were handed out by dancers from the Aim to Dance and Create  organisation who wore different shades of red and orange.  It was a colourful and vibrant affair aimed at stopping violence to women and girls around the world.

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Violence against women is most often hidden from public view and so deep set within cultures. Where it is seen it is sometimes normalised, it works on many levels.

 

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A wonderful and a big thank you to the organisers for putting on a wonderful campaign. Next year I would welcome a chance to come and photograph this special event of this very worthy cause.

Love and Peace x

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